Former presidential candidate and elder statesman, Bashir Othman Tofa, has warned the Nigerian government not to ignore the proclamation of a Biafra Customary Government made by the leader of the Niger Delta Peoples Salvation Force, Asari Dokubo.
Dokubo had earlier declared himself as the leader of BCG, adding that provincial structures would be set up for the government.
But the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, had described the declaration as ‘theatre of the absurd by a joker seeking attention’.
Reacting to this development, Tofa, in an interview with Daily Trust, said, “Alhaji Asari Dokubo may be considered as a joker by the unwise. What if his utterance is only an early stage in a larger plan? Threats to this country should not be taken as a joke.”
He said he wondered if the government would have maintained such a position if it had been someone from the North who said a fraction of what Dokubo said.
Tofa, who was a candidate for the National Republican Convention candidate June 12, 1993 presidential election, also said zoning was detrimental to the unity of the country.
Tofa said, “It is the sign of backwardness to continue propagating a divisive presidency, rather than the one that will serve all Nigerians equally and justly,” adding that the blame for this backwardness was on the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
He said, “The PDP started this foolish idea. They have damaged the political climate of this country while thinking it was for the best. Now it has become what may destroy this country if care is not taken.”
He also said there was nothing wrong with the idea of the presidential candidate and vice presidential candidate of a party to be from the same religion as was the case in 1993 when Chief MKO Abiola and Baba Gana Kingibe (Muslims) ran on the ticket of the Social Democratic Party (SDP).
Tofa, however, said Nigeria “is now too polarised for the Muslim-Muslim or Christian-Christian ticket to be dared by any party.”